The BFA Experience at NYU

Life in New York City

With New York’s vibrant Greenwich Village as the backdrop, NYU’s Washington Square campus is the at the center of it all.  And with the Game Center in thriving Downtown Brooklyn, Game Design students will take advantage of the diverse urban campus that is NYU.

New York city is the culture, arts, performance and music capital of the world, and is becoming an essential part of the game scene as well.  Students at NYU take advantage of the hundreds of cultural events that take place in the city everyday, free access to the world-class museums and libraries, beautiful parks and urban architecture, sports, concerts, films – there is so much to see and do in New York, it’s no wonder that NYU is one of the most desired undergraduate urban universities in the country. An undergraduate education is much more than a degree in game design, it’s the start of a lifetime of learning. In this way, the city itself serves as the University’s greatest resource.


Life at NYU

Even within the busy setting of New York City, NYU students can experience many of the traditional college lifestyle experiences.  From fraternities and sororities, to university athletics or intramural teams, student unions, religious and spiritual groups, activity clubs, activism, gaming groups – there are countless university-wide and Tisch School clubs for students to become involved while at NYU.  Student life is an important part of the NYU experience.

NYU as a world-class research institution gives students access to an incredible library system, brilliant guest speakers and lecturers, exclusive events and opportunities, and cutting edge technologies.  As a global university, students have the chance to study abroad in over 13 locations worldwide, including Berlin, Buenos-Aires, Sydney, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi.

A Strong Liberal Arts Curriculum

A well-rounded education is a cornerstone of the Tisch approach to undergraduate studies.  Combining intensive hands-on learning in the creative field of game design, with a world-class education in the liberal arts, students graduating from Tisch are not only prepared to work in their field but are prepared to work in the 21st century as global citizens.  With over one-third of the curriculum requirements devoted to writing, humanities, sciences and social sciences, we are making sure that all of the Game Design BFA students explore the intellectual world around them.

Each undergraduate student will be required to take a minimum of eleven rigorous liberal arts courses offered in the College of Arts & Sciences at NYU.  Games are interdisciplinary by nature, and a great game designer will be one who draws from their life and educational experiences.  Students can take courses in Greek history, astronomy, languages, politics, literature, gender and sexuality studies, sociology – courses in almost any subject, many of which offer minors.

With room for elective classes, students may also expand beyond the liberal arts, to take courses in fine art, business, social work, engineering or many other programs at the various colleges and schools at NYU.


A Thriving Game Industry

Students who graduate with BFA from NYU in Game Design will need a healthy industry to enter after school. In 2016, the NPD Group reported that total spent on the games industry in the United States alone was $30.4 billion. Additionally, this number only reflects sales from the largest publishers and is focused on retail units. The total number is actually significantly larger because new distribution methods like the App Store, digital item sales, and smaller scale studios’ earnings are not accounted for in that estimate. Overall, the size of the game industry surpasses both the film and music industries combined, and was predicted to be worth over $100 billion globally by 2017.

Just one concrete example is Rockstar Games. In 2013 Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto 5, the fastest selling entertainment product in history, earning over one billion dollars in sales in less than a week. Rockstar Games is located just down the block from NYU at 622 Broadway, and the game’s publisher, Take-Two Interactive is currently a Game Center event sponsor, monetarily supporting the department. Our classes frequently feature visits from Rockstar employees, offering critique and advice to our students. The local industry is heathy and we’re constantly making the connections to place our students in industry jobs.

From an NPR article in 2010, “Game Developer Research says there are about 45,000 total employees in the U.S. video game industry, with an average salary of about $80,000. Salaries can reach into the six figures, and programmers are among the highest-paid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for computer software engineers, some of whom develop video games, will grow by nearly a third in the next decade.”

In 2016 the Game Center was one of three recipients selected for an Empire State Development grant to help create and support the profile of the game industry right here in New York. The game industry is strong, both economically and artistically. New York City is an increasingly attractive hub for game development in no small part due to the Game Center’s involvement in the New York City community.

Internships and Career Guidance

Game Design students at NYU have access to three tiers of internship and career guidance.  At the university level, NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development offers internship listings, student worker positions on campus, resume workshops, job fairs, and more to take advantage of the wide-reaching NYU network around the world.  NYU Careernet service is an active job and internship listing available to all NYU students and alumni, ensuring that even once you’ve graduated from the program you can continue to benefit from the NYU connection.

In addition, the Tisch School operates its own Career Development office which works exclusively with Tisch students to connect them to the network of creative arts professionals and institutions that are connected to the school.  With its own job fairs and job posting site, Tisch students get a leg-up on the creative jobs and opportunities as a benefit of being a part of the Tisch community.  The career counselors are specifically trained to help students and alumni in the arts to find their way in the creative industry.

In addition, the Game Center has a dedicated industry liaison working to build relationships with the many large and small game studios in New York and beyond.  With an active faculty in the field, a strong connection to the NYC game scene and a budding alumni network, it is no wonder that our students have interned and our graduates are working at some of the most exciting game companies in the world.


Housing and Transportation

With several residence halls across the NYU campus, there are many housing options to choose from.  Rooms range from singles in a traditional dorm to suites with full kitchens.  NYU students get the chance to live in the vibrant neighborhoods of New York City.  There are several dining halls throughout the campus, as well as dozens of local restaurants that access NYU Campus Cash.  Along with the thousands of amazing restaurants offering every cuisine imaginable, the possibilities are endless.

Entering freshmen in the Game Design BFA will be housed in the Manhattan dorms, where their liberal arts courses are located.  The Game Center classes are located at MAGNET in Downtown Brooklyn, and NYU offers a shuttle bus to the Brooklyn campus.  Most students opt to take the NYC Subway or the latest transportation initiative in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Citi Bike share .  The subways are safe, clean and efficient, and can take you from Washington Square to Downtown Brooklyn in 20 minutes.

Campus Safety

New York City is one of the safest cities in the country, and NYU is dedicated to maintaining a safe and secure campus for all of its students.  The NYU Department Public Safety operates 24-hours a day, 7 days a week providing patrols, security guards and services to make sure NYU students can focus on their studies, knowing that they are in a safe and comfortable learning environment.  The Department works closely with the NYPD as well, to stay on top of any risks to our students.  For more about safety at NYU read the Campus Safety Tips.